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Observing Life From The Outside

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Sometimes I feel like I'm observing life from the outside - sort of like Scrooge with his three ghosts. I observe people talking to me - asking me how I'm doing, how my day's going, expressing their sympathy, etc. and I feel so much empathy for the "me" being observed, but the reality or actuality of it doesn't hit me until a bit later. That was really me they were talking to. I don't know if my mind is not ready to totally face the reality of losing David yet and is therefore protecting me or if I'm going crazy. The last fifteen weeks just do not feel real and sometimes I am unaware of the passage of time. Each hour of each day seems to go by so painfully slow but then when I realize that it's been 15 weeks it seems like it went by in the blink of an eye. My children and my friends are urging me to get some professional help. I guess they might be right. My thought is that when a person loses their best friend and the love of their life - we started going together 47 years ago at the age of 16 and have been married almost 43 years - so unexpectedly, it's going to take the mind and heart quite a bit of time to catch up to reality.

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Jan44 - I don't think you are losing your mind. You're right...your mind isn't ready to face the reality of losing David. My heart goes out to you!!! It's tough! As long as you are still counting in weeks, you're no where ready to face it. I think that once your counting turns into months you are getting closer. It's going to be a while....

Wow! 43 years is a very long time to spend with someone - I wish I had had that much time with my husband. We only had 21 years together and they truly were the best years of my life. He was only 46 years old when he passed away, which will be 3 years ago in November. See, I'm in the timeframe of years, now. I still miss him so much and I know that I always will. As you said, he was my best friend and the love of my life.

I do think that going to talk with a professional might help. I never did, but I had and still have tons of support. Charlie's whole family lives near me and we all grieve together; plus I have my daughter and my 3 grandkids. Reading books about death and grieving is another great idea. I've read a couple, but if you need suggestions I know that Dusky (here on this site) can give you an entire list. Also, Marty (our site monitor) can suggest alot of information, too. I'm sure if either one of them reads this post they will do that for you.

Please keep coming here! I think you'll find that it helps alot - I know all of us think so. We are here to help "hold you up" and walk beside you during this journey. It's a comfort to know of other people that have been through this.

Hugs to you!!! Take care of yourself!


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Jan, I've had the exact same experience when people are talking to me. You are in grief, not insane! Its a very very short amount of time for you to expect yourself to feel any different. I'm at 21 months and I cannot believe that, it feels like yesterday and I have many days when I re-live the last day over and over. Whats hard and makes things more confusing, is that everyone around you, live's are moving, but your heart and mind aren't ready. I have fought this every step of the way. It may have not been whats best, but its the way I've had to cope. Talking with someone is always good and could help, but I wanted you to know your feelings and thoughts are just fine and to be expected. Deborah

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You are not insane, it is normal. One of teh first books I bought and read was "I'm Greiving as Fast as I Can" It was suggested by Dusky I believe. It helped me understand what I was going though. 15 weeks is very new, you are still in the shock period. Your mind is helping you by protecting you from the full reality, I think a lot of us would agree that if it hadn't we surely would have gone insane. You are doing good, keep coming here and posting and seek professional help if you feel you need it. Get all the help you think you need right now, it can't hurt. If the professional suggests antidepressants, don't be afraid to take them, I really believe that is what got me through the first year. I got off of them before the one year mark when I felt I was ready, every part of my body and mind was telling me it was time and it was. They will help. Anyway, I hope this helps, there are so many things that I and others could share on this site about our experiences, but the pages on even this forum could not hold them all. Best regards to you on this journey.

Love always


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Jan 44,

I was reading posts tonight and I read yours - and then I saw a few of the repiles = and I saw my name (handle Dusky) was mentioned as having a list of books on greif that may help you. I am atttaching the list I have that many have seen on here before - the list has grown since the last time I may have shared it with the group - it now has 59 listings.

One of the things that has helped me so much since my Jack died was reading all these books. There ares so many great messages in these writings. I do not know what I would have done had had it not been for reading, this greif site, a few family and freinds and wrtiting myself. By the end of the year I hope to have my own book published - which is also meant to help people who greive the loss of their mate. You can look for it also - hopefully by the end of the year - the title to my book will be "Finding Jack - My Banana Bread Man". Here is ths list of books I read the first two years after Jack died. I hope you find some comfort in some of these readings:

Grief Bibliography

1. Surviving the death of your Spouse Deborah S. Livinson

2. Caregiving Beth McLeod

3. Grief’s Outrages Journey Sandi Caplan Gordon Lang

4. Life and Loss Bob Deits

5. Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul Jack Canfiled Mark Victor Hanson

6. Wherever your go – There you are Jack Kabat-Zinn

7. Unattended Sorrow Stephen Levine

8. Surviving Grief and learning to Live again Dr. Catherine M. Sanders

9. The Mourning Handbook Helen Fitzgerald

10. Healing your grieving heart Alan D Wolfelt

Ph. D.

11. Life Lessons Elizabeth Kubler-Ross David Kesler

12. How to go on living when someone dies Theresea Rando Ph. D.

13. A year to live Stephen Levine

14. Letting go with love Nancy O’Connor Ph. D.

15. The Dying Time Joan Furman David McNabb M.S.N., RN

16. Companion through the darkness Stephanie Ericsson

17. Don’t let death ruin your life Jill Brooke

18. A time to grieve Carol Staudacher

19. Too soon old too late smart Gordon Livingston,M.D.

20. The art of Forgiveness, Lovingness and Peace Jack Kornfield

21. Grieving mindfully Samett M. Kumar

22. When your Spouse dies Catherine L. Curry

23. Five good Minutes Jeffery Bantley, M.D.Wendy Millstine

24. Healing After Loss Martha Whitmore


25. The Power of NOW Eckhart Tolle

26. Gay Widowers – life after the death of a partner Michael Shernoff

27. A Journey through Grief Alla Renee Bozarth.Ph. D.

28. When Bad things happen to Good people Harold S. Kushner

29. The Grief Recovery Handbook John W. James & Frank Cherry

30. Ambiguous Loss Pauline Boss

31. The Precious Present Spencer Johnson

32. Life after Loss Raymond Moody & Dianne Arcangel

33. Writings to heal the Heart Susan Zimmerman

34. The Grief Recovery Handbook John James & Frank Cherry

35. When Bad things Happen to Good People Harold Kushner

36. Stillness Speaks Eckhart Tolle

37. In Lieu of Flowers Nancy Cobb

38. The Other Side and Back Sylvia Browne

39. Blessings from the Other Side Sylvia Browne

40. Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow Karen Casey

41. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Sogyal Rinpoche

42. The Loss of a Life Partner Carolyn A. Walker

43. Life on the Other Side Sylvia Brown

44. Transcending Loss Ashley Prend

45. The Heart of Grief Thomas Attig

46. Letters to Kate Carl H. Klaus

47. When Men Grieve Elizabeth Levang, Ph. D.

48. The Five Things We Cannot Change David Richo

49. Awakening from Grief John E. Welshons

50. Love Lives On Louis LaGrand, PH.D

51. What Buddha Would Do? Franz Metcalf

52. The Book of Awakening Mark Nepo

53. About Alice Calvin Trillin

54. Forgiveness – A Bold Choice for a Peaceful Heart Robin Casarjian

55. Getting to the other Side of Grief Susan J Zonnebelt-Smeenge, R.N., Ed.D

Robert C. De Vries, D.Min., Ph.D

56. Grief Steps Brook Noel

57. Life after Death - The Burden of Proof Deepak Chopra

58. The Essence of ZEN – An Anthology of Quotations The Five Mile Press

59. Pocket Positives of Living – An Anthology Summit Press Quotations

My best to you - Love and Peace,

John - Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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